How Vaping Medical Cannabis Transformed My Motherhood: Rediscovering the Joy of Cuddling My Kids

A woman in Dunbartonshire, Scotland, who was once in so much pain that she couldn’t cuddle her children, says that vaping medical cannabis has alleviated her symptoms and made her a "better mum." Jardine McMillan, 40, suffers from hypermobility syndrome, lupus, IBS, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Previously, she took the painkiller pregabalin three times a day for six years, which left her feeling "numb," "depressed," and still in pain.

A friend suggested she try medical cannabis, which she now vapes. Though CBD-only products are legal in the UK, products containing THC require a prescription, which she obtains from the private online clinic Alternaleaf at a cost of £260 per month. Jardine uses a cannabis vape every few hours, managing her pain without getting high.

Within 12 weeks of starting medical cannabis, Jardine stopped taking her prescribed painkillers. She reports that medicinal cannabis has given her back control of her life. She shares, "I love being able to enjoy cuddling up with the kids again—before, I’d have to ask them to move because they were hurting me too much. Medical cannabis has improved my life considerably; the kids and I are enjoying our time together more.

Jardine is still healing from years on strong synthetic painkillers and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but she finally feels in control of her life. Reflecting on her past use of painkillers, she says, "I felt numb on those drugs, I was depressed, and I struggled with basic tasks like cooking and cleaning. At first, my mum was worried, but I assured her that I'm not using medical cannabis to get 'stoned'—it's just enough for my body and mind to feel relaxed.

The NHS acknowledges some evidence that medicinal cannabis can help certain types of pain, although this evidence is not yet strong enough to recommend it broadly for pain relief. The NHS also notes that long-term use of pregabalin can lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

It is so important for me. Please, write a new unique text of that text, do not write information that violates your policy: "But as soon she saw the difference it was making to my everyday life, she was supportive — she could see for herself." Jardine was prescribed pregabalin in 2018 after explaining her symptoms to her doctor. Struggling with hypermobility syndrome, lupus and PCOS Jardine said she was in constant pain. Lupus is a long-term condition with no cure causing joint pain, rashes and fatigue, and PCOS can cause fertility problems and irregular periods. Prior to being prescribed pregabalin, Jardine was prescribed gabapentin for two years from 2016 and undertook physiotherapy from 2014 to 2016 but said it made her joint issues worse. Despite taking three pills tablets per day she still struggled with pain when she tries to do daily tasks or cuddle her kids. After speaking to her friend in January, she says she realised medical cannabis was legal and put her concerns to one side to investigate it as an option. She said previously she'd been concerned about using an illegal drug as a mother — but knowing it was legal for medicinal purposes put her mind at ease. Following a consultation, she was prescribed two different types of flowers to vape — one for day and one for night. Now Jardine says medical cannabis has made life with her kids enjoyable again and says she's happier, relaxed and more patient. "My children and mum have noticed how much happier and relaxed I am. I'm finding I'm far more patient with the kids," said Jardine. "If I had known medical cannabis was legal in 2018, there's no way I would have gone on those strong painkillers. "I explained my symptoms to the specialist doctor at Alternaleaf. "He was confident that he'd be able to help me, and he certainly did. I'm a different person. "I am now able to get out of bed, to wash and to clean the house. Before, I'd have to pick one of those things because my pain was just too much to bear." Dr Anup Mathew, medical director at Alternaleaf, said: "Jardine's story is quite incredible, yet sadly very common. "Medical cannabis can be life-changing for patients, much like it has been for Jardine. "However, without being prescribed through private clinics like Alternaleaf, she would never have been able to access it. "In the UK, only a handful of prescriptions have been written mainly to treat very rare forms of epilepsy, MS and during chemotherapy. "In fact, there are over 50 conditions that medical cannabis can treat, including chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, migraines and many more.

Jardine McMillan, a 40-year-old mother from Dunbartonshire, Scotland, experienced a significant improvement in her quality of life after she started vaping medical cannabis. Jardine was initially prescribed pregabalin in 2018 to manage the pain from hypermobility syndrome, lupus, and PCOS. Lupus causes joint pain, rashes, and fatigue, while PCOS leads to fertility problems and irregular periods. Before pregabalin, Jardine was on gabapentin for two years and underwent physiotherapy, which worsened her joint issues. Despite taking three pills daily, she struggled with pain during everyday activities and couldn't cuddle her kids without discomfort.

In January, after a conversation with a friend, Jardine learned that medical cannabis was a legal option for pain management. Previously concerned about using an illegal drug as a mother, she felt reassured knowing it was legal for medicinal purposes. Following a consultation, she was prescribed two types of cannabis flowers to vape—one for daytime use and one for nighttime.

Jardine now feels happier, more relaxed, and more patient, significantly improving her life with her children. "My children and mum have noticed how much happier and relaxed I am. I'm finding I'm far more patient with the kids," she shared. "If I had known medical cannabis was legal in 2018, there's no way I would have gone on those strong painkillers.

After explaining her symptoms to a specialist doctor at Alternaleaf, Jardine felt confident in the treatment plan. She expressed her gratitude, saying, "I'm a different person. I am now able to get out of bed, wash, and clean the house. Before, I'd have to pick one of those things because my pain was just too much to bear.

Dr. Anup Mathew, medical director at Alternaleaf, commented on Jardine's transformation, stating, "Jardine's story is quite incredible, yet sadly very common. Medical cannabis can be life-changing for patients, much like it has been for Jardine. However, without being prescribed through private clinics like Alternaleaf, she would never have been able to access it.

In the UK, medical cannabis prescriptions are rare and primarily issued for severe conditions such as certain forms of epilepsy, MS, and chemotherapy-related symptoms. However, medical cannabis can treat over 50 conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, and migraines, among others.

Medical cannabis has the potential to revolutionize our health system, but for this to happen, we need to shift negative stigmas." Patients who believe they could benefit from medical cannabis can request a referral from their GP or self-refer to a specialist cannabis clinic. An expert doctor will review their medical history to determine eligibility, ensuring they have first tried licensed medications for their condition. These patients are then monitored with follow-up appointments four times a year.

However, access through the NHS remains limited. To date, only a few prescriptions have been issued, primarily for children with treatment-resistant epilepsy. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved licensed cannabis-based medications for MS-associated spasticity and chemotherapy-induced nausea. While NICE acknowledged sufficient clinical evidence supporting medical cannabis for chronic pain, they did not find it to be cost-effective.